I’d Like My Personal Network Selection List

If you are a frequent international traveler you probably know the following scenario: Plane lands or you cross a border, you switch on the mobile or loose the home network coverage and it takes ages before the mobile decides which network to use. And then, as you roam through the country, you'd loose network coverage of one network, the mobile goes to the next and another "welcome" message interrupts the peace.

You can of course set the network search to manual but again, it takes ages before the mobile comes up with a list of networks to choose from. So here's what I'd like: I'd like my "own" auto mode which I can tell which network I would like to use in which country. Then, when the plane lands and I switch on my mobile, it will select only the network I have previously selected and only this one. Quick and no manual interaction required.

3 thoughts on “I’d Like My Personal Network Selection List”

  1. I like this idea! could be very useful.

    I must say that Blackberries are very fast to find and network and lock on.

    The iPhone on the other hand is painfully slow 🙁 In fact when I got back to my home country today, initially it said “no service”!!! WHAT?????

    once locked on, as long as you stay in your country, it is fast to regain service after a flight.

  2. I’m deploying services which send “welcome” messages and “choose” network instead of you. As for annoying messages – operator has possibility not to send message second time in the same country. But due to EU regulations it has to inform you if tariffs were changed (If I remember correctly). So this might be your case.
    Now about “mobile decides which network to use”. Well, not always mobile handset performs decision 🙂 These days it’s more operator’s decision (many of them use traffic steering platforms to “move” your handset in their preferable network).
    Manual mode has big disadvantage – if chosen operator has problems with coverage, then you’ll lost service. In automatic mode your handset will try to latch on available operator’s network. And steering attempt will start again… 🙂

  3. Small update.
    There are such lists on you SIM/USIM card already and they’re described in 51.011.
    Two of them, PLMNsel/OPLMNwAcT, can be updated only by operator (with help of SIM vendor) using OTA mechanism. This is widely used now, but has limitation – lists are small and can’t hold all preferred roaming partners.
    But standard also defines EFPLMNwAcT (User controlled PLMN Selector with Access Technology). Google pointed me to AT commands “+CPLS” and “+CPOL” which can be used to manage this list. So you can try if you wish.
    The only question which I still have – which list has higher priority? 🙂

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